CHRISTIANNA HEIDEMAN – Interview with the Creative Director of DAMSELFLY

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All ‘Stones Made of Stars’ campaign images shot by 35mm Photography. Styling – Lana Wilkinson. H&M – Mae Taylor. Model – Natascha Elisa.

 

Christianna Heideman’s DAMSELFLY has long been a name etched in my memory. It conjures images of fairytale princesses of epic proportions, ethereal beauties hand dipped in gold and stunningly delicate jewellery made from precious stones. Not only has Christianna made a name for herself creating these gorgeous pieces of jewellery, but has now branched out to include interior-design-worthy candles and reeds with pop-culture references and inspirational quotes adorned on them. Pen to Paper chatted to Christianna about her current collection – the mesmerising, Stones Made of Stars. You’ll be sure to fall head over heels for this collection too…

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1. Damselfly was first created 13 years ago. How did you break into the industry and what jewellery were you creating back in the early 2000’s?

I launched Damselfly when I was 18 with absolutely no prior experience in the fashion industry, which, in some ways was helpful as I was completely naive to the challenges that lay before me. The brand was well received and expanded very quickly in a short period of time forcing me to learn on the job, which was a thrilling experience.

Back then it was all about oversized earrings and by oversized, I mean the kind of earrings that are almost the same size as your head and weigh half a ton.

That became our signature style for the first few years but naturally we progressed and moved into other areas as the trends changed.

2. The Damselfly aesthetic has now been re-imagined. What has inspired this transformation and what is Damselfly’s mantra today?

It seems like a natural progression, as you grow and change, so does your aesthetic and inspirations, which in turn reflects through your label. I guess Damselfly is just an extension of that and a reflection of where I’m at right now.

I’m definitely much more relaxed these days and don’t take things as seriously as I used to when I first started out.

Mantra – Unicorns are awesome. I am awesome. Therefore, I am a unicorn. 😉

3. There is an emphasis on the fantastical and stargazing in your latest collection entitled, Stones Made of Stars. Precious stones lend themselves so perfectly to mysticism and the galaxy but where did this inspiration for this name stem from?

The theory that we are all made of stars has always fascinated me and when I look into an opal I see an infinite galaxy, hence the name, ‘Stones made of stars’…

An astronomer, Carl Sagan, famously stated, “We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.”

4. Which is your favourite gem to showcase?

That’s like asking a musician what’s their favourite music! Impossible to answer as I have so many favourites and it is always dependent on my mood and what’s relevant at the time. Although I would have to say that Opals are a current favourite!

5. Stones Made of Stars is such a delicate and feminine collection. How much time and energy would you say goes into each individual piece?

It’s a labour of love! Each piece in this collection is made by hand and every stone is also cut by hand to fit the specific settings, hours go into creating every piece. Not to mention the time that went into conceptualising the collection.

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6. Milliner, Viktoria Novak, recently designed a range of crowns for Damselfly made from handcrafted gold tone brass and gold embroidered lace, featuring Swarovski crystals and fresh water pearls. These were insanely popular and almost all of the 6 designs created have sold out. Why do you think these crowns are so popular and does it have to do with every girl’s dream of being a princess adorned in gold?

Viktoria’s crowns are so unique and our customers really appreciate the attention to detail, vintage components and quality craftsmanship. VN is a great artist and designer and I love supporting and working with inspiring people. It helps me with my own creative process. Her crowns are definitely a statement piece that makes you look like a princess and feel like one to for those special occasions.

7. What is it about jewellery and adornment of women that has captivated your imagination?

I’ve always been obsessed with accessories, from a young age I would spend hours rummaging through my mum and grandmother’s jewellery boxes (that’s actually something that I still do now)…

I find that jewellery and adornment is such a beautiful way to express yourself, for me an outfit is never complete until you finish it off with a piece of jewellery.

8. Damselfly has now also set its sights on lifestyle products, such as candles and reed diffusers with motivational and popular culture references emblazoned on them. These too have been overwhelmingly received. Why do you think conveying messages this way is still such a strong form of communication and personal identity?

Words are such a powerful means of expression that can instantly make you feel a myriad of emotions. The quotes are a great way to interact on a candle as the process is almost a ceremony. Light the candle, light up your mind with the thought on it, then sit back and have a wine and smell the beautiful aromas…

9. In your eyes, what does the ideal Damselfly girl represent?

She is a complete individual, void of any need to be accepted or fit in to society. Confident and strong willed, but not cocky and egotistical. Very sure of her direction and what she wants, without forgetting to have fun and to not take things too seriously. Notices the beauty in everything!

10. What is next on the horizon for Damselfly?

We’re just about to jet off on an inspiration trip to India to develop a range of fragrances and a few other secret projects, along with some well deserved pampering at a Palace on the lake in Udaipur.

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QUICK RANDOM ONES:

  • First celebrity crush?

Jason Priestly (Beverly Hills 90210).

  • If you could own a unicorn or a luck dragon, which would you choose?

Unicorn, hands down…although the dragon would be handy to light all the candles in the house at once…

  • Favourite watering hole in Melbourne?

Fall from Grace, a hidden gem in the city where you enter via a sliding bookshelf and down a winding marble staircase.

  • Best holiday spot on earth?

That’s a hard one… There are so many beautiful places on this earth I can’t possible pick one!

  • Your most influential style icon?

Caroline De Maigret.

  • What precious metal would you love to be dripping in?

Rose gold is my current favourite.

  • If you could steal someone else’s job for a day, who would it be and why?

Gemologist or Archaeologist – it would be so much fun to be on a constant treasure hunt!

  • Biggest vice?

Pasta. Multiple bowls of pasta…

  • Favourite jewellery item you own and wear religiously?

Antique golden sapphire engagement ring from my beau.

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For more from DAMSELFLY, head to: http://damselfly.com.au and https://www.facebook.com/damselfly.jewellery.

 

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